Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
For the next couple of days, the first reading will be taken from Job. To help you understand this moral tale, keep in mind that it speaks of human sinfulness and divine justice. And realize that sometimes bad things do happen to good people, but we will hear more of that later.
This book begins with a dialogue between God and Satan. Seems a rather strange beginning, God and Satan talking. A little history of the Hebrew people will help. The Satan we think of today is not how the original Hebrew people would have thought about Satan. Their first concept of Satan was that Satan was a servant of God. Satan’s purpose was “to test and prove the inner motives and genuine goodness of human beings.” (vs 9-11). In Hebrew, satan can be translated as ‘stumbling block’. Satan was not considered an evil opponent to God, but rather a special agent working for God. Over time, when the Greeks took over, they would have used the Greek word diabolos meaning the “false accuser”. Diabolos looks a lot like our word, diabolical. And so, as we know him today, Satan is.
We hear today that in a very short period of time he loses his family and possessions. Take a moment and reflect on this. Would you be upset? Crying out to God? Asking why? Why? Why? Or could you be like Job. Although filled with pain and sorrow, quietly accept what has happened, and accepting of what God has given him. In this case, accepting the pain and sorrow of losing everything.
“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!”
In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.
We will learn more this week.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen